Moving to Los Angeles? Here's Everything You Need to Know

So, you’ve seen La La Land, love the red carpet and have followed Hollywood since its sign was erected. But what will moving to Los Angeles really be like?

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Hollywood sign in Los Angeles

Perhaps you saw David Beckham, Robbie Williams and ‘insert famous person’ were moving to Los Angeles, and thought you’d follow in their footsteps? Or maybe your spouse complimented your shower voice and you thought it’s finally time to take the plunge into showbiz. Most likely, the reason for your big move to the City of Angels is a little more grounded, but fear not. It’s still a real city after all, one with excellent schools and infrastructure, a diverse culture and an entertainment line-up the envy of the rest of the world. Even if you’re not mixing with celebs, you’ll be living in a year-round idyllic climate, sampling the fine cuisine that springs from Los Angeles’ famous diversity. Sprawling beaches with piers built for family entertainment adorn the coasts, while inland, charming districts are lined with boutiques and trendy cafés.

Read on for the best tips about how to turn your corporate relocation to Los Angeles into a rich and fulfilling life for you and your family.

Areas

Los Angeles is pretty remarkable in terms of its layout. While it does have a thriving Downtown Los Angeles, which is packed with cultural highlights and parks, much of the city is spread across idiosyncratic neighbourhoods that are like little towns in their own right. Venice Beach stands out as a quirky and bohemian village with quaint cafés, charming 1960’s architecture and the iconic Ocean Front Walk. Saunter along the sides of the canals that were inspired by Italy’s Venice. Consider Santa Monica, where you can gawk at the fitness fanatics on Muscle Beach (only in America!), or imagine you’re in the OC or Melrose Place by getting your own 90210 zip code in Beverly Hills.

Cost of Living

Moving to Los Angeles, you’ll never run out of things to do or tire of the perfect climate. But living in the place everybody wants to move to doesn’t come cheap. If you’re not earning high and you’re not careful enough, your Los Angeles dream could turn into a Loss An’ Jealous reality (we made that up – you’re welcome), as you envy the glitz and glamour around you while you’re out of pocket. Rent, food, gas and property are on the dear side. However, if students and an endless array of talented actors working in cafés can make it work, then you can too. You’ll need a car to get around, unless you fancy wandering beside busy highways for enormous distances. Expect higher prices in the celebrity haunts of Malibu and Beverly Hills, where apartments start in the millions of dollars. If you're in need of a place to rent in LA, look no further than Plum Guide's collection of business rentals in the city. Our finicky home critics have personally (and painstakingly) inspected all properties on our site, meaning your move will be as seamless as they come.

Road lined with palm trees in Los Angeles

Schools

Whether you’re bringing kids with you or planning to start a family later down the line, Los Angeles can be a great place for a child to grow up. Its beaches, parks and sports events make for a children’s paradise, while the schools are first rate. One perk is that many kids today grow up bilingual, due to the Hispanic influence. Eso nos gusta. (If you don’t know what that means, send your kids to school here and ask them in ten years.) The city has plenty of schools for special education as well as institutes for talented performers – it’s L.A., after all. Magnet schools are public institutions for kids who are gifted in a particular area, be it languages, sciences or the arts, which could be an attractive option for your little Einstein. Competition for places at private schools is spirited, while international schools are another option to churn out worldly offspring.

School hallway

Work Culture

The free spirit of California is epitomised by the informal dress code. Try to resist the urge to step on the back heel of any new colleagues flaunting flip flops and board shorts. A nightmarish scenario of an entire city of Vice journalists may be difficult to bear, but it depends on the job. Don’t turn up in your swimming trunks for the first day at an accountancy firm. Beneath the smiley faces and flower-patterned hemp fashionwear is a fierce and competitive streak in a city that has fashioned a culture of having to make it at all costs. Speaking of costs, child care is also pricy, running up bills of thousands while you’re crunching those figures in flip flops nice shoes. You’ll also need to buy a car for the long commutes and traffic times in this spacious labyrinth.

Person's feet in flip flops and a cup of coffee

Entertainment

It’s a city of extremes, and relocating to Los Angeles will bring you face to face with both the most superficial and the most high-brow entertainment you’ve likely experienced. Bring your family on a stroll along the Hollywood Boulevard (squinting your eyes so the stars’ names look like yours) and head to one of the many family-fun venues in the Hollywood area. Looking for some meaning? Aren’t we all. Try the old-school theatres in Venice Beach, watch a Tony-winner in the Geffen Playhouse and pretend to enjoy the sublime compositions of the LA Opera.

Venice Beach at sunset

Sports

If you’re worried about your kids remaining active and retaining a healthy interest in sports, Los Angeles has got you covered. It’s even done us the service of sticking its name in the various teams. Why, there’s the Los Angeles Lakers, the Los Angeles Chargers, the Los Angeles Rams…add any plural to the city’s name and you’ve got yourself a team. There’s football, the other football, basketball, baseball and many more.

LA Lakers jersey and basketball

Business

Moving to Los Angeles, you’ll find yourself in a corporate ecosystem, a large bubble of networking types eager to do business with you. With three seaports and a vast airport, it’s an enormous trading hub and a force in myriad industries, including engineering, entertainment and many more. And it’s just a few hours’ drive from the tech hub of Silicon Valley.

Buildings in Los Angeles

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